Friday, January 2, 2015

Paris, Texas (1984)

Today's film is Paris, Texas.  A man is found wandering the desert with no memory.  Luckily, he has some contact info on him, and the doctor who finds him contacts his brother.  We learn that his brother, Walt, and sister-in-law, Anne, live in LA and he flies down to meet him.  I recognized his brother immediately as Al from Quantum Leap.  I've never seen him in anything else.

The man, Travis, has been lost for 4 years! I wondered what had happened to him.  Also, his son was left behind at his brother's house.  Now, his son is almost 8 and regards his aunt/uncle as his parents.  Travis gradually remembers everything, but still, why did he leave?

This is what I thought about while watching this.  The doctor asks him if he was in a crash.  He's also terrified of flying in a plane, to the point of having a panic attack and getting kicked off.  Was he in a plane crash? Was that responsible for his memory loss?  No, they're just trying to throw us off.

As Travis and his son get closer, he convinces him to go together and fetch his mother.  This is where we get thrown off a bit.  I mean, he just met his father, and now they're going to leave the state?  The brother wants to keep him, but knows he cannot because he's not the biological father.  Anne tells Travis that the mother has been wiring money at a specific bank, so he starts off there.  Behold! They find her the first day they try!  What are the odds of that??  They follow her to a peep show and Travis visits her a couple times.

One night, Travis tells her a story.  Remember that she can't see him through the mirror.  He tells her about an older man who loved a young woman and they had a child together.  He had to go to work even though he missed her because he had to support them.  He got so jealous of her that he tied a cowbell to her ankle so he could hear her leave.  What an asshole.  She's your wife, not a slave, asshole.  Eventually he left and went to the desert.  So, now we know how he ended up there.  He wasn't in a plane crash.  Nothing bad happened to him.  He's not suffering from PTSD.  He forgot because he wandered into the desert, because he was an asshole.  We also find out it was the wife who abandoned her child on his uncle's doorstep and ran off to work at a peep show.

Travis tells her where to find her child.  She goes to meet him while Travis leaves forever.  So, after wandering the desert accomplishing nothing, he snatches his child from a loving home where the parents own a stable business, and hands him over to his hooker wife, all while abandoning the child just as he's beginning to trust his father.  A++ parenting all around.  I'm giving this talky talky tripe a 5/10.


  1. I liked the first part of this film a lot more than the latter part - not for moral reasons, but simply because the mystery of why he couldn't speak was captivating for me, and the movie became far less engaging when he did start talking.

    1. Oh, this is true. The movie built up to a letdown.